But the duo, who have a column in the New York Daily News, weighed in this week on the feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. The one I did not know existed. AND THE DAYTIME LADIES THREW BACK WISDOM LIKE COCKTAILS.
It is unclear even to people who are not me exactly what TayTay and The Barec**t are fighting about, but EVERYONE KNOWS they are EMBROILED in DRAMA. Then THIS OCCURRED:
OOH. WHAT CAN IT MEAN?? Whatever it means, Kathie Lee and Hoda riffed on it. (Attention, media barons: Sumac and I would accept a column in which we jabber in half-formed sentences at one another and a minion records it and puts it in the newspaper and gives us money.) Feel free to click over to the Daily News and read their dialogue, but here’s the SorryWatch money quote:
Hoda: It doesn’t matter, you can just say you’re sorry. You might not have meant something a certain way, but if someone took it another way, it’s easy to say, “Look, I’m sorry.” Not, “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings,” just simple, “I’m sorry.” That’s it. And then you’re free. Why do you want to lug it around?
Kathie Lee: The dumbest line in any movie, of all time is: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” from “Love Story.” Dumbest line ever. Love really means having to say you’re sorry over and over again for the rest of your life, because we’re human and we are going let people down and disappoint them. And we should be sorry when we do.
They are BOTH CORRECT.
Hoda (spellcheck, please stop trying to change that to “Yoda”) is right: If someone says they’re hurt by something you said, and you didn’t MEAN IT LIKE THAT JEEZ, you can still apologize. Your choice. Yes, you can stew instead about being WRONGLY MALIGNED. But if you’re able to, why not simply say you’re sorry?
Hoda is ALSO RIGHT that if you take the option to apologize, you should do it right. Which means not throwing in caveats and clarifications. It’s “I’m sorry,” not “I’m sorry you were offended.” She’s right that even “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings” is not as good as “I’m sorry,” because the subtle implication there is that their feelings are delicate wilt-y flowers not strong enough to withstand the breeze of normal human interaction. I’d suggest that a longer version of “I’m sorry” is good when the additional words are about the thing you did wrong, not about what the other person felt. So, “I’m sorry I stole your backup dancer” or “I’m sorry I burst into laughter at the size of your exhibitionist boyfriend’s vacation wiener” — those express more ownership of wrongdoing than “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.” But of course, if you feel you did nothing wrong, and you just want to move on, you can just say “I’m sorry.” (Don’t ever say “Let’s move on.” Not your call to make.) And flowers, a bottle of chardonnay (if you’re Kathie Lee and/or Hoda, especially) or a handwritten letter on nice stationery expressing how much the other person’s friendship means to you will not go amiss either.
Kathie Lee is right that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” is a DUMB LINE. It is a ’70s relic that should be abandoned along with tanning oil, the NYC crime rate, the AMC Gremlin, smoking while pregnant and Rick Dees.
What does it even mean? That if you love someone you won’t do anything that warrants apologizing for? (Dumb.) Or that if you love someone, you won’t need to apologize because they will automatically and instantaneously forgive you because that is what love means? (Dumberer.) Nicely said, Kathie Lee. To err is human; to apologize, divine.